My rating: 4 of 5 stars
With Kingdom Besieged, we are returned to Midkemia and back to where the saga began; Crydee. Though this is a new trilogy (?) it picks up threads from the previous Midkemian volumes and makes full use of their history and lore. The return to Crydee is a welcome one for those Feist fans that were becoming a bid jaded with all the realm hopping and every twist that was taking us away from the characters we loved into looking to see where the plot was going.
The writing and story-telling is classic Feist, and opening with the descendants of the original Duke Martin of Crydee resonates strongly with the opening of Magician, where we had Pug vying for the attention of young lady who was way out of his league and Arutha coming to terms with the mantle of responsibility that eventually led him to becoming the Prince of Krondor. Although, in the first instance, I felt a little lost in the family tree as Feist tries to explain how Martin and his brothers are related to the descendants of Jimmy the Hand, especially when you try and work out all the relationships bearing in mind that Pug is still alive and mixed up in several ways with the ConDoin family.
The plot, although it stills spans the breadth of Midkemia and the demon plains, doesn’t feel as overly complicated as the previous sagas(?) did. The various strings of plot are added in good time and the links are drawn together in a way that doesn’t leave the reader feel out to sea, but engaged enough to want to see the book to its end and beyond.
This is classic Feist, polished and epic, and whilst the new characters won’t ever match up to Prince Arutha and Jimmy the Hand, nevertheless, they will still find a chair by the fire in my affections. This is a must read for fans of Raymond Feist and epic fantasy.